THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

 |   |  1 min read

Joy Division: New Dawn Fades
THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

Joy Division's debut album, for the sound of Martin Hannett's production alone, changed the way people thought about music in the post-punk era. Here was glacially smooth and dark music with theatrical intent and a poetic sensibility.

It sounded astonishingly gloomy (lines like "where will it end" and "she's lost control again" leap out at you) but Hannett's spacious production also allowed massive bass lines and mechanistic drumming to create a sonic landscape in which Ian Curtis' vocals sound like they have been beamed in from a distance, both physical and emotional.

A track like Candidate for example would be almost a disjointed art statement if Curtis' vocals were removed.

But it is his delivery and poetry which is the compelling feature: Curtis sings as a man feeling removed from or uncomfortable in the world, he drew on experiences in his job as a social worker confronting the grim misery of his clients (She's Lost Control) but became a kind of Mancunian Sylvia Plath where there are images of white sheets and silent cars beside the road, blood on fingers and "I've seen the nights filled with blood sports and pain".

Curtis is there in every lyric: the observer or participant.

Unknown Pleasures was never an easy listen and some only heard its dark and gloomy qualities, not it's poetry. When people joked that Leonard Cohen was a one-man Joy Division, they didn't realise quite how that was more true than just a superficial reading.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

One of the great albums of rock era which should be in any collection, it is now less than $10 from JB H-Fi stores (here).

And that is a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Billy Preston: That's The Way God Planned It (Apple)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Billy Preston: That's The Way God Planned It (Apple)

By the time keyboard player Billy Preston ended up on the Beatles' Apple label in the late Sixties he'd already had quite some career. A child of the church, at 10 he played behind gospel... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Cure; Classic Album Selection (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Cure; Classic Album Selection (Universal)

The ridiculously good and very affordable Classic Album Selection -- which we have singled out already for its Motorhead and Thin Lizzy sets -- hits another peak with this, the first five Cure... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Willis Earl Beal: Acousmatic Sorcery (XL)

Willis Earl Beal: Acousmatic Sorcery (XL)

Beal's story is as interesting as this often engrossing debut album. In 2007 at age 23 after being discharged from the US army, he went and lived in the New Mexico desert while suffering from... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . EVIE SANDS: Ever the bridesmaid

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . EVIE SANDS: Ever the bridesmaid

When the pub quiz question comes up, be prepared: The guy who wrote Wild Thing, Chip Taylor, is the brother of actor Jon Voight and therefore the uncle of Angelina Jolie. For bonus points, he... > Read more